The Hornets men’s water polo beat Saddleback after two, three-minute periods of overtime, 11-10.
The Hornets struck first in the first quarter with two goals from sophomore Niko Vaccher, but the Gauchos dominated for the rest of the half.
The Gauchos scored one goal in the first quarter followed by five goals in the second, leading 6-4 at halftime.
In the third quarter, the Hornets offense took off on a six point shooting spree but still trailed the Gauchos 9-8 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was a dogfight. Hornets Vaccher tied the game at 9-9 with a shot from behind the 5-meter line and pressure from two oncoming Gaucho defenders.
The tie didn’t last long, as Gauchos James Martin scored a goal giving Saddleback the 10-9 lead with 46 seconds left in the game.
The Gauchos attempt to keep the Hornets from tying the game looked successful, until the 27 seconds mark in when Hornets freshman Andy Weske stole the ball from an unsuspecting Gaucho offense which lead the Hornets to a consequential offensive drive.
With eight seconds left in the game and offensive coordination, Hornets freshman Aiden Davis scored the goal which sent the game into overtime tied at 10.
In the first three minute period of overtime, each side’s defenses were impenetrable keeping the score tied at 10.
Hornets goalie Austin Navarrete blocked two shot attempts and had a steal keeping the Gauchos offense in check. Gauchos goalie Brandon Davis had one blocked shot attempt while Gauchos James Martin and Andrew Carter both had one steal a piece.
In the second-three minute period of overtime at the 1:13 mark, Hornets Zach Angulo scored the game winning shot giving the Hornets the victory of 11-10 over the Gauchos.
Both sides showed reckless offenses. The Gauchos made ten out of their 37 goal attempts and had 19 turnovers. The Hornets showed more precision by making 11 goals out of 25 attempts.
“If we would have kept moving the whole game, we might have been able to break out with a larger lead,” said Hornets Head Coach Rhett Price.
The matchup between the teams was close and the little mistakes made by the Gauchos offense proved crucial in their loss.
Gauchos Head Coach Jason Lynch admitted, “I think we turned over the ball throughout the game at crucial moments at the end…our goalie had 14 saves, but he could have had a little more.”
Next up: The Hornets take No. 2 Golden West College, at home on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 3 p.m.